The future of ad intelligence

Nick Whitehead

What is Nielsen Ad Intel?

Nielsen Ad Intel is the leading provider of competitive advertising information. It alerts you to new sales opportunities by tracking ad placement in more detail while making it easy for you to interpret the data and address your most competitive questions. To expand the digital component of Nielsen’s Ad Intel measurement, Nielsen partnered with US-based Pathmatics.

What is Pathmatics?

Pathmatics is a company, and is also a digital ad intelligence platform that enables our clients to understand who’s buying and selling ads, the creative format and execution as well as their ad impressions across multiple devices and ad formats. It provides competitive digital campaign information, including unique insights on the programmatic market. 

How is the information captured?

Simply put, advertiser-level data is collected through the use of a web indexer. This information is captured across multiple categories and stored in a central library which can be used for competitive ad intelligence analysis. 

How did Nielsen get into this space?

Digital advertising is an area that’s highly important to our clients as they try to understand how to better reach their customers across digital platforms. We knew that we needed to invest in better quality measurement in this area, and this is why in late 2015 Nielsen and Pathmatics formed an alliance to provide a more comprehensive ad intelligence solution for our clients. Since we formed this alliance, our relationship with Pathmatics has expanded around the world, with this solution now supported in New Zealand, Australia, United States, Japan and many of the European markets. 

How has the partnership worked out so far?

Together, Nielsen and Pathmatics are able to deliver actionable insights in digital ad intelligence for the media and advertiser sectors. Pathmatics has brought a cutting-edge and innovative technology, while Nielsen has been able to leverage its already established relationships across the globe in the media and advertiser sectors as a trusted and independent measurement company. The result has been greater visibility on, and accuracy of, digital campaigns across more websites and more devices. As such, this has led to highly valuable outcomes for publishers, agencies and advertisers. 

How have publishers, agencies and advertisers been using pathmatics?

Publishers have been using Pathmatics as a sales prospecting tool by looking at competing publishers and the successes they have had in winning business. Advertising agencies are using Pathmatics to analyse the digital campaigns of their clients in comparison to a competitive set of other digital campaigns. For advertisers, the tool is being used predominantly for two reasons; to provide greater transparency into programmatic buys, showing which sites their digital campaigns were placed on; as well as helping them to better brief their agencies in future digital campaigns. 

Why is visibility of ad placement important?

With programmatic buying being an automated process, one of the biggest challenges for advertisers is the visibility of where an ad is placed. We’ve seen examples of alcoholic beverage ads being placed next to news articles related to underage drinking and flight commercials placed next to stories regarding airplane crashes. This is why visibility is important – to minimise the risk to publisher and advertiser brands. 

How are insights delivered to clients?

Pathmatics delivers access to our entire digital campaign library since the service went live in New Zealand in May 2017. This allows the user to search for specific creative by an advertiser.

This also gives the user the ability to view their own digital campaign execution as well as competitor campaign strategy. This is delivered through a simple to use web-based interface. Within the interface, clients can easily pull together presentation form reports like top advertisers, top sites and top categories. Users can also follow specific brands, setup alerts for the latest creatives and track the impressions of those brands over time. 

What does the future of ad intelligence look like?

Continual change. If we just look at the last ten years, digital ad placement has changed dramatically and we expect this to continue. Consumers increasingly have access to content across multiple devices, apps and platforms. Nielsen’s ad intelligence service will continue evolving to allow a comprehensive measure of campaigns, across platforms and devices. 

  • This article was written by Nick Whitehead, senior manager Nielsen New Zealand [email protected] 

This story is part of a content partnership with Nielsen.

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